Fonts | Khmer Fonts | Cambodian Fonts | Khmer Unicode

Formerly, a small group of Khmer, Khmer-American and American folks were met on the Internet to discuss about the possiblity of using Khmer language for email, homepage etc.. From that point on, we looked at the commercial Khmer fonts available in market. different font foundry assigned same Khmer character with different code. The ASCII characters are replaced by the Khmer alphabet according to its sound. With this type of arrangement, extensive sort algorithm will be needed if ones want to sort Khmer words in the right order such as the order used in the dictionary. We also looked at the requirement by Netscape to find a way to use Khmer characters in its documents. We've found that english language is still needed in order to read the title, the articles listing and command.

Micrsoft Windows 3.xx and Win95

To ease data entry for the newly Khmer font, MS Window program and DLL are written after discussion by two of the members. The KEYBIND.EXE and KEYHOOK.DLL were carefully code to allow the user to reassign each keypad to any character (English or Khmer). Since there are only 47 keypads that are used for data entry, we decide to divide the character code into pages instead of using key combination to enter a given character into the document. With only three pages in addition to Shift+key, we can have any english and Khmer character typed in.

Using Microsoft hook function, user can also use the describe method to enter the english and Khmer character into any windows assuming that KEYBIND is still running in the background.


invoke/terminate KEYBIND.DLL. Draw keymap according to the page number and font for referrence in case user does not know the correspondant key for a character. Provide a small edit window for user to practice type and get familiar with the keymap. COPY ,CUT and PASTE are provided thru clipboard buffer that any window can use.
the real messenger that translate the key stroke and sent the correspondant character to the focus window.
default data file to tell the program to generate the character for each keypad and page. It also hold the font name, the appearance of the keymap such as backgroud color, character colors etc..

Other platforms

We have tested the above program on a NT machine, but the KEYDLL will not work . It needs to be modified to WIN32 DLL. Linux is most likely will be the next target machine to have Khmer font and keyboard binding. [Some work has already been done on the X-Side, a similar font was converted successfully. As soon as they convert this font I will make it available. -EGG 12/3] On the Mac side, Earle and Hann are working on the font conversion process. [I have converted the fonts to Mac, they appear to be functioning correctly, but I lack the facilites to test them. Let me know if anything doesn't work. -EGG 12/3]

Use and Notes

This particular font is to be regarded as a pre-release (beta) version. The Khek brother's will soon provide us with a professional version that will replace this one.

You will need to load these fonts into your system. If you do not know how to do this look in your systems manual. After you do this then to view things that use this Khmer font you will need to change the default fonts in your Web (e-mail/news/telnet) programs. Now the method for doing this is different for each program, but you can usually find the settings in a menu that is called "Fonts", "Options", or "Preferences". There are two different fonts, a fixed with and a proportional (varying) width. In general most programs that deal width the Internet are fixed width, so this will probably be the one you use the most. Web browsers use both though, so you should probably set both fonts. If you are unsure if it is fixed with or proportional then make two lines, one with 20 "i"s, and onw with 20 "W"s, if each letter lines up then it is fixed, otherwise if the "i"s are shorter than the "W"s it it proportional.

Once you set the font, then when you view something that uses this Khmer font then you will see Khmer writing. Depending on the font you use you will always see Khmer numbers or Arabic numbers (see below for more details), but other than that most things will still look like English. Occasionally though you may see a Khmer character popping up in a middle of a word, this will usually happen if you are looking at something in an European language (like French). You are probably seeing an accented character, if you want to see the correct character all you have to do is to switch the font back to its original setting.

To type if you are using MS-Windows you can use the Keymap program, and once you get used to it things go very smoothly. We do not currently have a facility to help with typing on the Mac. If you are interested in writing one, pleas send us mail.

Code Assignment

With several emails, we came to the conclusion that we would like to preserve the ASCII code for english character and use the code above 127 for Khmer alphabets. Unlike english or french or spanish, a majority of Khmer words are written in diacritic forms. Each consonant, except two of them in the Khmer has two forms, depending of its position in a given word. A few compound vowels have one sign in front and others after or on top of the consonant(s). Also, each consonant has its own width to make the written looks neat. This is not new in the available Khmer font. The font designer is well aware of this kind of complexity. Most of the hard work had already done by those Khmer font designer. Our task is to make a new arragement and preserve the english alphabets. Fortunately, we have barely enough codes above 127 to assign all the Khmer alphabets, including the signs. We made the arrangement such that all consonants, vowels are as close as possible to their natural order. However, it is impossible to have such arragnement for those true compound vowels. Th compound vowel is made of two or three other vowel. Therefore, no code is needed to assign it to each one of those vowels. There is another hidden fact that we've described so far. Actually, we were lack of 9 codes for the Khmer number 1-9. A compromise must be made and two seperate fonts are used: one with arabic and one with Khmer number 1-9.

Font and Font Foundry

Once we have assigned all the codes to the Khmer alphabets, we've started looking to design our own font. A copy of Fontographer 3.52 for MS Windows was bought to do the job. Two people in our group had tried and realized that font design is not an easy job. It is indeed very time consuming and one must possesses a good artistic skill.

After two months, we gave up and try to convince the Khmer font foundy for their contribution. Fornuately, Hann So has some relationship with one of the Khmer font foundry, the Khek's brothers. After several emails using Hann as middle man, Khek's brother make a generous offer by donating one of their Khmer font to be modified with the new code arrangement.

Team Members

  • Chanty S. Khek, one of Kheks's brother
  • Hann So
  • Paul Tun
  • Earle Goodman
  • Patton Adams
  • Sophea Sao
  • MengLy Chean
  • Eng Born
  • Vandy Thean
  • Mony Peang
  • Robert Lor

This page does not focus on the technical part of how Khmer Fonts were created nor the fundamental of Khmer Unicode, but how to utilize Khmer font and where to get Khmer fonts. If you have any questions about the fonts here please feel free to send them too: , thank you.


Khmer Unicode
Khmer Fonts Unicode

Khmer Unicode for Window XP
Documents How to Write

Khmer Unicode for Window Vista
Instruction to Set Up Khmer Unicode for Vista (PDF)

Khmer Unicode Keyboard Layout
NIDA Keyboard Layout (if you use Mostlikely, when you are using Window XP)
Vista Keyboard Layout

Khmer Converter

  Traditional Khmer Fonts
Limon Fonts
ABC Zero-Space Fonts

Keyboard Layout for Limon Fonts
Keyboard Layout for ABC Zero-Space

KhmerOS Fonts - KhmerUnicode
All KhmerOS fonts(V.5.0) (2.5 MB)
Khmer OS (259 KB)
Khmer OS System (258 KB)
Khmer OS Moul (311 KB)
Khmer OS Freehand (244 KB)
Khmer OS Fasthand (232 KB)
Khmer OS Metal Chrieng (226 KB)
Khmer OS battambang (202 KB)
KhmerOS bokor (209 KB)
Khmer OS muol light (227 KB)
Khmer OS muol pali (137 KB)
Khmer OS siemreap (129 KB)
Khmer OS content (195 KB)

Early Version Download:

To type Khmer fonts on the web, download the following:

Khmer Fonts Package for Windows, download the following:

Thanks to tbun, we should finally have a working version of the Mac Font. Let me know if it doesn't work.